[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Concert Preview[/pullquote3]
This week marked the release of the performer lineup for the Bonnaroo music festival.
Bonnaroo is a four-day music festival that is typically held in Manchester, Tennessee. People come from all over the nation to see the festival and camp on the farm-ground for four days. The event hosts multiple genres of performers with a diverse range of musical styles that perform on stages set up across the 700-acre farm.
Its name comes from New Orleans R&B singer, Dr. John, who released the album Desitively Bonnaroo, and “bonnaroo” means “a really good time.” The first Bonnaroo festival took place in 2002 and rapidly joined the ranks of other famous music festivals, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza. Its inception is described by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the “top 50 moments that changed rock and roll.”
The former musical focus had been jam bands; however, in recent years the selection of performers has varied. Over the years Bonnaroo has hosted Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, Jay Z, Mumford and Sons, The Police, Eminem, and countless more. The scope and fame of the performers, and Bonnaroo itself, gives context to the festival that is described by CNN as “Music and subculture melted together into a pot of creative bubbling energy.”
There is an impressive lineup this year, which was released this past Tuesday. Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Beach Boys, Bon Iver, Foster the People, The Avett Brothers, and Skrillex are just a few of the headliners this year.
This June the fest will host around 100 performers over four days. This is the eleventh Bonnaroo, and it will take place (as always) from June 7-10 in Manchester, TN. Tickets went on sale as of noon on Saturday Feb. 18.
There is not just music to be enjoyed at Bonnaroo. Centeroo is the central area of Bonnaroo in which nearly all of the festival activity occurs. Open 24 hours a day, it houses various vendors and activities. All sponsors of the festival are required to provide a free activity for concertgoers. The 100-acre entertainment village is home to many attractions including a comedy club, classic arcade, on-site movie theater, silent disco, theater performers, a beer festival, and a music technology village.
At the silent disco, each person is issued a set of headphones that syncs with a DJ so each person is listening to the same song—but to onlookers, they look like they’re dancing to no music at all. The movie cinema is open 24 hours a day, and it’s argued it’s more popular for its air-conditioning than the movies themselves. These activities, as well as the epic performances around the clock, succeed at making Bonnaroo a non-stop experience for four days.
Both general admission and VIP tickets have been on pre-sale for months. The VIP package sells for a whopping 1,400 dollars for two people and includes festival admission as well as perks which include a VIP lounge, preferred parking, and exclusive viewing areas. The non-VIP tickets fetch around 235 to 260 dollars in varying price ranges. The general admission ticket price includes the option to camp on the festival grounds.
It could be said that the fest is renowned for its camping capabilities. One of the most iconic aspects of Bonnaroo, festival goers are destined to see many tents dot the landscape (if they are not camping themselves). The entire camping concept adds to the communal atmosphere. This year Bonnaroo has also introduced a “group camping option,” where 24 people can camp together, which helps cut costs.
The Bonnaroo Music Festival is and has been an institution since its inception in 2002. Since then, it has sold out tickets every year and draws crowds in between 70,000-80,000. Bonnaroo is said to be a musical experience like no other and it is my hope to one day experience this cultural phenomenon.